Liteville 901 (frame kit only) - First ride review£2,265.00

Innovative trail hooligan

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Liteville’s 901 is part of their small but perfectly formed fleet of frames. It covers the more extreme end of all-mountain riding and we hit the hills to see if this little beast can bring new meaning to the word versatility.

Ride & handling: Manoeuvrability and smooth suspension create a highly capable ride

With a complete weight of 14.5kg (32lb), the 901 certainly feels more sprightly than your average 170mm-travel (6.7in) bike. We went for the slackest head angle possible (65 degrees, adjustable via the top shock mounts) to squeeze every ounce of stability out of it.

With the saddle up and your legs spinning, any initial pedal bob can be tamed with the ProPedal platform damping lever on the Fox shock. You may need to be a little more patient on the climbs but they are doable.

The 2.5in Schwalbe Muddy Mary tyres do slow the proceedings down somewhat, but get the bike pointing downhill and they soon make up for it.

When it comes to descending, the 901 is capable and more than happy when the pace picks up. Its manoeuvrability, geometry and smooth rear end come together to produce a bike that can be thrown around or launched over the ugliest obstacles.

On harsher, repetitive braking bumps the Fox DHX Air shock can get stifled and losing the chain was a worry, but stick on a double ring and guide with an adjustable seatpost and this could be the perfect Megavalanche bike.

The shock options give you 170mm or 200 of travel: the shock options give you 170mm or 200 of travel
The shock options give you 170mm or 200 of travel: the shock options give you 170mm or 200 of travel

Frame & equipment: Innovative chassis with great attention to detail

The 901 is packed full of neat features with masses of attention to detail. It uses an integrated 1.5in headset with bearings pressed into specially made cups, which are stealthily integrated into the frame to improve strength and keep the look crisp. The cable routing is tidy too.

The four-bar rear end offers the option of 170mm (6.7in) or 200mm (7.8in) of travel, depending on shock. We went for the shorter travel option with a Fox DHX Air 5.0. The top shock mounts also offer 1.5 degrees of head angle adjustment thanks to a toothed sliding plate.

Liteville make a point of independently butting each seatstay to suit their different loading effects. The 901 also uses the TCL (Tuned Chainstay Length) concept, which means that chainstay length will increase when you jump up in frame size.

Because our 901 used to be a development steed for Syntace, it was fitted with a selection of lightweight kit, ranging from a stubby 50mm 1.5in stem to a narrow carbon bar.

A huge range of gears were on offer thanks to the XTR triple chainset and we opted for the Fox 36 RC2 TALAS fork to complement the 170mm (6.7in) of rear travel. Stopping duties were handled by Formula’s hard-to-fault The One brakes.

NOTE: The price of £2,265 is for the frame kit, including titanium bolts, DT Swiss EX200 or Fox DHX Air 5.0 shock, headset and converters, seat clamp, full-length gear cables and a choice of 200 colours.

The integrated mech protector fends off potential damage: the integrated mech protector fends off potential damage
The integrated mech protector fends off potential damage: the integrated mech protector fends off potential damage

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